In Vietnam, ‘schools for the gifted’ mean 'schools for the rich’?

Whether to maintain schools for the gifted is an annual topic of discussion among many parents.

The Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted has announced its enrollment plan for the 2020-2021 academic year, which says students must get a 10 score for nearly all subjects and a 9 score for one subject over the last five years at primary school to be eligible to apply to the school.

In Vietnam, ‘schools for the gifted’ mean 'schools for the rich’?

The Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted


The students who meet the strict requirements will be shortlisted and will have to attend an entrance exam to the school.

Hang, a parent in Ba Dinh district, said she has doubts about the 10 score requirement.

“My cousin last year got a GPA at 10, but he had only a 3 score when attending the entrance exam,” she said.

On education forums, many parents have criticized the school’s enrollment policy.

The Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted has announced its enrollment plan for the 2020-2021 academic year, which says students must get a 10 score for nearly all subjects and a 9 score for one subject over the last five years at primary school to be eligible to apply to the school.
 

“Why does the school set such overly high requirements?” a parent asked.

“Are they education establishments that create excellent students or are they establishments which only receive excellent students," another parent said.

Meanwhile, many other parents said that the existence of the schools for the gifted ‘creates social inequality’, and others complained that the high requirements put a heavy burden on students.

“Everyone understands that students won’t pass the exam to the school if they don’t attend extra classes to review for the exam,” a parent wrote.

“As such, only the students born in well-off families can go to private tutoring classes to review for exam, while poor students can’t. So, I can say that schools for the gifted are just the playing fields for the rich," he explained.

Ha My, a parent in Hoang Mai district, admitted that her daughter began preparing for the entrance exam to the Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the gifted when the girl entered the first grade.

“My daughter began learning English at the age of 4. She practices speaking and listening with native speaker teachers, and grammar as well. She also goes to mathematics and literature classes,” My said.

According to My, the cost for 12-week English course is VND5 million and she has to pay VND20 million a year for the child’s English courses. The total amount of money she has spent on English learning has reached VND160 million over the last six years.

While many parents are against the existence of schools for the gifted, My and others believe that the schools give more opportunities to excellent students to promote their talents.

“The graduates from schools for the gifted clearly gain bigger success in their lives than the graduates from other schools,” My said.

Kim Chi 

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